Free Access
Volume 36, Number 4, October-December 2005
Page(s) 533 - 541
Apidologie 36 (2005) 533-541
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2005040

Expression of melittin gene in the venom gland of the Chinese honeybee, Apis cerana cerana

Jiang-Hong Lia, b, Chuan-Xi Zhanga and Zhen-hua Tanga, c

a   Institute of Applied Entomology, Zhejiang University, Kaixuan Road 268, Hangzhou 310029, China
b   College of Apiculture, Fujian Agriculture & Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China
c   Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200025, China

(Received 2 November 2004 - revised 25 January 2005 - accepted 28 January 2005; Published online: 13 September 2005)

Abstract - Melittin is the principal component of bee venom. Melittin in Apis cerana (Ac-melt) is a single copy gene. A full length Ac-melt cDNA is 389 bp, with a single 191 bp intron in the genome. Its mRNA level was high during the first week of adult life and low during the rest of adult life. Melittin or its precursor could not be detected in the pupal stage. Melittin level increased rapidly to its maximum (about 95 $\mu$g per worker bee) during the first 8-10 days of adult age, and remained constant for about 20 days before starting to decline slowly. The expression of melittin is regulated at the transcriptional level.

Key words: Melittin / gene expression / venom gland / Apis cerana

Corresponding author: Chuan-Xi Zhang

© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2005